The Martin Agency Goes Through a 4 Percent Staff Reduction

By Patrick Coffee 

This morning, The Martin Agency announced a round of layoffs affecting both its Richmond, Virginia headquarters and its New York City office.

According to an agency spokesperson, a total of 21 employees were let go: 16 in Richmond and 5 in Manhattan.

The rep positioned today’s move as part of a “major restructuring to respond to the changing needs of clients, improve the quality of work … and move toward a more client-centric structure.”

The ultimate goal is to facilitate agility and efficiency by reducing the size of client teams, thereby allowing the Martin organization to become “more nimble” in “adapt[ing] to what our clients need as the agency changes rapidly.”

The language sounds very similar to that surrounding other recent industry changes like the round of global structural changes announced at Havas late last week.

The Richmond Times published its account of the shift before we could post today, including this quote from CEO Matt Williams:

“This restructuring will allow us to execute great ideas faster, respond to opportunities more quickly, and better connect with consumers. This will require a shift in our workforce toward new sets of skills and different ways to work. While these changes are critically important for us to make, this is still a very tough day for us because saying goodbye to some of our colleagues is never easy.”

The Martin Agency spokesperson declined to elaborate, and we’re not aware of any account changes that precipitated the move.

Last September, the organization went through a similar but slightly larger reduction directly related to Walmart’s decision to consolidate its ad business with Publicis. In that case, 29 individuals departed, accounting for 5.6% of Martin’s total workforce.

Tipsters tell us that a small number of senior staffers were included in today’s announcement, but the agency did not comment directly.

We have no reason to believe that other such moves will follow, and The Martin Agency has been hiring: art director Megan Sheehan joined its New York office earlier this month as a group creative director.